Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    "Pancho" Villa letter to fellow revolutionary Emiliano Zapata

    Francisco "Pancho" Villa Typed Letter Signed to Emiliano Zapata. Two pages on imprinted letterhead, 8.5" x 11". Torreon, Coahuila; September, 3, 1915. Great content letter written in an official capacity, formally addressed to "General Emiliano Zapata, Chief of the "Convencionista" Army of the South; Wherever he may be found."

    In part: "We find ourselves in pressing moments, and we need to save our fatherland from a clumsy dictatorship of indefinite duration: the dictatorship of Venustiano Carranza... We have accepted the invitation of the Pan-American diplomats to meet in peace conference, because we have seen in this the salvation of the country, and we have learned with pleasure that you, like the true patriots, have also accepted the aforementioned invitation...

    As we have been absolutely without communications, we have been forced to discuss by ourselves the matters that so much interest the country, always having in mind our pacts and agreements for the good of the indivisible alliance that unites us...

    The plan for the pacification of the country through the recognition of our government by the government of the United States and by the governments of Latin American nations, as well as the rest of the foreign nations, is that we immediately reorganize a constitutional government, and as the government that we will organize will have as president one of the ministers of the last legal government, it would be immediately recognized by the United States and the rest of the Latin American countries. We believe that it will be best to designate some of those men of revolutionary principles, of course, exclusively to proceed to the convocation of elections. That president will have no political action whatsoever, since he will be absolutely controlled by the cabinet that we designate for him...

    Villa goes on to outline the approach they should take at the convention, including the number of delegates to be sent.

    Zapata and Villa had recently been allied with Carranza, and had been instrumental in helping him oust Victoriano Huerta from power in 1914. But as soon as Carranza seized power, he turned on Villa and Zapata. Carranza's better equipped and trained army had beaten Villa's forces a few months before this letter is written. Zapata's troops had fled to Morelos, where they were constantly on the run.

    The United States and other Latin American countries had hoped to negotiate a settlement in the ongoing Mexican civil war; and in the summer of 1915 they organized a conference, inviting all the various factions. This letter is referencing that very conference. Although both Zapata and Villa had agreed to participate, Carranza's refusal to attend would not be made known until a week after the date of this letter.

    The letter offered here is a carbon on official letterhead with Villa's signature. It is likely that multiple copies were sent, as Zapata's location was unknown. Poignant and significant content letter that captures a moment when reform seemed possible. Zapata would be murdered in an ambush by Carranza's forces in 1919. Villa would suffer a similar fate at the hands of Álvaro Obregón, who would defeat Carranza with the help of reformists, in 1923.

    Condition: Flattened folds, with pencil notations at top, and two small edits in the text. Villa's large signature has a few ink smears.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2016
    5th Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,984

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $200,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $200,000 and $2,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $2,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 1 day left to consign to the 2019 December 7 Historic Flags of World War II Civil War, Militaria, Arms & Armor Signature Auction - Dallas!

    Learn about consigning with us

    The pre and post sales experience was wonderful and flawless. Heritage has the best in-house operation I have ever seen and their people are not only professional but fun to work with, especially Steve C.

    As for Heritage's online system… Yes the interface is more complex than what we are used to with SAN but what is behind that interface is amazing for sellers and buyers alike. It is real time and for a real serious auction buyer there is nothing better in the auction industry, bar none.
    Ron Cipolla,
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 September 21 - 22 The David and Janice Frent Collection Presidential &  Political Americana, Part VI Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 September 21 - 22 The David and Janice Frent Collection Presidential & Political Americana, Part VI Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $648,838